Divorces are a complex matter and, with prenuptial agreements, dividing the money is relatively easy. It’s valuing businesses, property and other assets that makes it an arduous task.
The recent divorce announcement of Angelina Jolie Pitt and Brad Pitt isn’t just a story for the gossip section. The high profile couple has earned an estimated $555 million dollars during their relationship. Complicating the matter, they began dating in 2005 but were just wed in 2014. Any application of community property will apply only wealth from the past two years.
The couple’s legal arrangements are not publicly available, but among their assets is The Maddox Jolie-Pitt Foundation, a nonprofit organization founded to address global humanitarian concerns.
Like a business, a foundation is an asset. This means that California divorce law sees it as martial property with equitable 50-50 ownership.
Distribution of a business is determined by a few factors, and the foundation will likely be addressed under the same principles, influenced by the following factors.
- The time and role of each partner in the company
- The existing business structure and any legal plans that address a break-up of ownership
If the foundation, which is estimated at $4.5 million dollars, is split evenly, it means that Jolie Pitt and Pitt will either need to run it together, or one partner buys the other out, perhaps trading other marital property to do so.
Considering that both Jolie Pitt and Pitt were previously married and had a lengthy courtship, it is likely that a defined prenuptial agreement is in place. However, joint properties like the foundation raise awareness that divorce procedures are not just division of household members and living quarters, but of all property: accumulated and shared, for profit and nonprofit. While the foundation is not a traditional business, it is owned by the actors as a couple, and as a nonphysical entity, it is difficult to precisely divide.